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Buoyant British beer sales up 31 million pints in Q2

Buoyant British beer sales in Q2 shows further signs of reversing a long period of decline, with sales up 1.5 per cent, it has been announced today. The rise means Britons enjoyed 31 million extra pints from April to June, compared with the same period in 2015. The figures are published in the British Beer & Pub Associations Quarterly Beer Barometer.

Increasing off-trade sales during the European Football Championships were a big source of the boost, with sales rising by 4.8 per cent. On-trade sales (pubs, bars and restaurants) fared less well, slipping by 1.9 per cent, although this was one of the lowest Q2 drops for the on-trade in recent years.

Beer sales have risen by 1.2 per cent over the past year, and have been relatively stable since early 2013 following years of decline. The marked change in trend coincides with reductions in beer duty, which began with a pioneering one penny cut in the March 2013 Budget. This was followed by two further 1p cuts and a freeze this year, putting an end to years of steep beer tax hikes.

Increased confidence in the sector has been accompanied by greater investment and campaigns, such as ‘There’s a Beer for That’, which promotes the beer category as a whole, with widespread backing throughout the industry, through ‘Britain’s Beer Alliance’.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments: “These are yet more encouraging figures, and the football has given a real boost to sales. It is quite clear we owe a huge debt of thanks to the cuts in beer duty from 2013. I hope the Government continues with this pioneering change in approach, and we continue to see support for fairer taxes for British beer.”

David Cunningham, Programme Director, There`s A Beer For That – Britain`s Beer Alliance, adds: “We can see that the campaign messages of quality, diversity and versatility of beer and our focus on encouraging people to pair different styles of beer with their meals, is beginning to have a positive impact on consumer perception behaviour. This in turn is playing a part in the recovery of the category.”